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"moby Dick" as an Experimental Travel Writing

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This book, as presented to us in a book format, is not a novel, nor an epic or a romance as Nathaniel Hawthorne would have liked to call it. Before all of these genres, what I think is that we should call this narrative only as an experimental travel writing, documentarily fictionalized by a great writer and observer. From this point of view it is a great effort to be involved in a literary area in its own time. That, I think, is the very reason why William Faulkner, after a long time period, is so much influenced by this book. Melville creates a kind of truthfulness in its own narrative that can pass easily to any time possible to consociate with.

Speaking of Faulkner, to give a glimpse of what I meant by influence, it can be easily said that as Melville does with this book; like changing the point of views of characters, randomise the speaker without an order, melting the narrator away gently from the story, Faulkner also does these kind of things as an experimental effort at least. Apart from this, think about the passages given by Faulkner, like Vardman's chapter which is only a sentence; "My mother is a Fish". Now, compare this chapter from "As I Lay Dying" to the Melville's version, which goes like; "Um, um, um. Stop that thunder! Plenty too much thunder up here. What's the use of thunder? Um, um, um. We don't want thunder; we want rum; give us a glass of rum. Um, um, um!" This was the whole of chapter 122 in Moby-Dick, Tashtego is the man here, by the way. Giving these examples I mean to show the progressive side of Melville which impresses me throughout the story. Meanwhile "As I Lay Dying" was published in 1930, and Moby Dick was in 1851.

I liked the dialogs so much that I really wanted that those parts when the story is presented like a play rather than a so-called novel to last more than the normal version of the narrative. It is not that I did not like Ishmael or obviously Melville himself telling the story, but I liked Stubb or Ahab or even Pip more (Remember Chapter 99, Doubloon). So Melville is not putting some dialogs to vitiate his own writing. He knows his stuff and how to present what is called experience and observation.

As for the symbolic side of the book, I cannot say that the book ensures a guaranteed realization point to the reader as the writer interferes his own story so irritatingly with some encyclopaedical informations filled with very few ideas of Melville himself. To go into this kind of story, we may not be ready, as the writer thinks for sure, but we are not ready to be given these informations as well, since they are simply tedious and insufferable. Speaking of this metaphorical side of the story it must be said that Melville uses real life as an instrument of metaphor for his original, authentic, too much realistic story, which is, simply and basically and definitely and indisputably, a whaling story. So instead of thinking about a whole metaphor of a story to symbolize what is to be called as a real life as we live it, Melville thinks about our lives to symbolize his great whaling



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